A2 computing, AS computing, BBC Education Correspondent, Department of Employment & Learning, Gavin Boyd, InvestNI, Robbie Meredith, software systems development A level, Stephen Farry, The Council for Curriculum Examinations and Assessment
In the last few days BBC Newsline reported the launch of CCEA’s brand new A-Level IT qualification, with very little context or background.
In particular, the BBC report begged a fundamental question. Viewers, particularly teachers and parents, were surely left wondering why the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment waited until 2015 to include coding for the first time in its Advanced Level examination suite.
When InvestNI and The Department for Education & Learning minister Dr Farry bemoan the decline in programming skills of our young people, and industry seeks to apportion blame, Gavin Boyd, former chief executive of CCEA (the newly-appointed CEO of Northern Ireland’s Education Authority) always seems to evade scrutiny.
CCEA offered an A-Level in Computing with a demanding coding element until Gavin Boyd’s arrival – from the private sector – as CEO of CCEA. In order that the public can have any confidence in Mr Boyd’s judgement, and that of those who have supported his litany of failed initiatives, shouldn’t the BBC establish the role he played in abolishing an examination which, if permitted to continue, could have done so much to ward off our current ‘coding crisis’?